How to Stretch Out the Toes of Your Shoes and Make Them More Comfortable

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You might need to adjust your shoes for a variety of reasons.
You might need to adjust your shoes for a variety of reasons. (Image: IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

There can be many reasons you need to stretch the toes of your shoes. You new shoes can rub and might become uncomfortable as your feet swell through the day, or you shoes might have shrunk due to water damage. Several options exist to help get your feet and shoes to match up more accurately.

Put a resealable plastic bag in each shoe and fill the bags with water. If needed, you can double up the bags to increase the strength. Place the bags in the shoes and carefully fill the bags with water. You want the bags to be comfortably full, filling in the toes of the shoes. Close the bags well. Place the shoes in another large plastic bag. Put the bag into the freezer for at least 24 hours. The water will expand and stretch the shoes. Defrost the shoes before wearing.

Use a ball and ring shoe stretcher. Cover the shoe with a resealable plastic bag and put the ball into the shoe, leaving the ring outside. Put the stretch arms over the toe. Leave on overnight if the toe is particularly tight.

Taking your shoes to a shoe repair shop. A stretching machine can target specific areas of a shoe and guarantee you won't have any problems like you might doing it on your own. A shop might use a leather softening agent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take care to make sure the bags are completely sealed.
  • Do not go cheap with the quality of bags otherwise you may have a mess.
  • You do not need to clean/deodorize first but it is recommended.
  • This procedure will stretch out your shoes to about 1/2 a size bigger. It is a great way to expand the shoes particularly in the toe area.

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